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Fascinating Look Back at the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie, a Supersonic Strategic Bomber from the 1960s – TechEBlog

North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie Supersonic Strategic Bomber
Long before the B-2 Spirit and even ahead of the Concorde’s first flight in 1969, there was the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie. This supersonic strategic bomber is basically the prototype version of the B-70 and was capable of cruising comfortably for thousands of miles in speeds excess of Mach 3+ while flying at 70,000-feet. The goal was to have the XB-70 evade interceptor aircraft at those speeds and altitude, the only effective weapon against bomber aircraft at the time. Read more for two videos and additional information.



Flying at Mach 3+ also meant that the aircraft would be extremely difficult to see on radar displays and its high-altitude capacity could not be matched by any contemporaneous Soviet interceptor or fighter aircraft at the time. What eventually lead to the discontinuous of the program was the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during the late 1950s, which made manned bombers be seen increasingly as obsolete. However, two prototype aircraft, designated XB-70A, were manufactured and used for supersonic test-flights during 1964–69. One of them crashed, and the last remaining Valkyrie bomber can be viewed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.


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